by Sharon Balke | November 3, 2009
Each year, the National Career Development Association celebrates November as National Career Development Month to highlight the importance of life-long career development. Managing your career is an ongoing process, not just something you do when you’re actively in a job search. It’s akin to maintaining a schedule of moderate physical training year-round for a marathon, rather than waiting until a couple of weeks before the race to start training. The runner who exercises two or three times each week will be much better prepared for the race than the one who tries to do all of her training at the last minute. Likewise, a job seeker will fare much better in a job search if he’s laid the groundwork by maintaining good relationships with colleagues in his field over time, and kept his resume updated with his ongoing professional development activities, than if he only begins conducting career management activities when the job search becomes imminent.
The Career Center at Capella University invites you to take the month of November to reassess your career management activities. There are a number of steps you can take now, while you’re still in school, to position yourself well for your future job search. Consider engaging in some of the following activities:
• Review the state of your network, and commit to reconnecting with one professional contact each week to nourish your network and strengthen your collegial relationships;
• Update your resume or curriculum vitae and cover letter, and have your documents critiqued by a professional career counselor;
• Join a professional association to develop connections and establish yourself as an expert in your field;
• If you are in job search mode, compile a list of common interview questions, create answers that will differentiate you from other applicants, and practice with a colleague or friend;
• If you are re-entering the civilian workforce from the Armed Forces, review resources that may have been provided to you before your discharge, and explore the O*NET translator site to create your new resume;
• If you are seeking work and are 40 years or older, make use of resources for “mature workers” (such as the AARP website); and
• Participate in career development classes or seminars.
The Career Center has developed a series of free, one-hour webinars, on a variety of career-related topics, including:
• Interviewing for Success,
• Job Search Strategies for the Mature Worker,
• Job Search Strategies in a Tough Economy,
• Online Social Networking: Cutting edge tools to manage your career,
• Professional Portfolio: Differentiate yourself in the job search, and
• The Teaching in Higher Education Job Search.
The webinars are facilitated by professional career counselors, who will provide tips and strategies for managing your career and conducting an effective job search.
Register here for a free one-hour webinar through Capella University.
Capella learners may also register for a free, 10-day Career Exploration and Planning seminar. This seminar will help you to:
• articulate your skills, interests, and work values
• create a list of possible career outcomes
• establish a list of related professional associations
• generate a list of skills and knowledge areas necessary for desired career outcomes
• develop a plan for conducting informational interviews
• create an action plan that includes steps to take towards achieving your career goal
Register here for CPL5100: Career Exploration and Planning.
There’s no better time than now – during National Career Development month – to establish effective career management habits and strategies. When it’s time for your job search, you’ll be well prepared!